Archive for the ‘Disaster Relief and Aid Fund’ Category

Disaster Aid and Relief Fund at work in Long Island

September 13th, 2013 by Brian Maiorana

Rudy and Maria’s home was flooded and severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy, just 14 months after also being flooded by Hurricane Irene. Good Charity, Inc. and the Disaster Aid and Relief Fund visited them as they were in the midst of their rebuilding process. They graciously shared their story with us. We were honored to support Rudy and Maria directly through our Financial Assistance Program.

Video thumbnail for youtube video Disaster Aid and Relief Fund at work in Long Island - Good Charity

http://www.goodcharityfund.org

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Financial Assistance program in Howard Beach, Queens

August 28th, 2013 by Brian Maiorana

Good Charity Inc has a special Financial Assistance Program through which applicants can request funding to help them deal with specific events and costs. Through the Disaster Aid and Relief Fund, Good Charity Inc was able to help a family in Howard Beach, Queens rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012.

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The Scafo’s are a family of 7 living in Queens, New York, not a place you typically think of when Hurricanes strike; but in October of 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast, causing roughly 100 deaths and $42 billion in damage in New York alone.  Many homes were left uninhabitable, including the Scafo’s, who saw most of their possessions destroyed when flood waters surged into their home, filling it with water to the top of the basement steps.

Through the Financial Assistance Program Good Charity, Inc and the Disaster Aid and Relief Fund were able to provide help to the Scafo’s as they worked through the rebuilding process.

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Every year, millions of innocent people suffer the effects of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floors, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. At Good Charity Inc., our Disaster Relief and Aid fund was created to help those victims of natural disaster in dire need of help and assistance.

We are fighting an ongoing battle to raise funds so that we can help as many people as possible. Part of that fight is won by raising awareness of the effects of natural disasters. In this post we want to explore the five most devastating natural disasters in the US to hammer home the point that helping people affected by acts of God is a cause well worth contributing to.

5. Hurricane Katrina (2005)

KatrinaIt seems appropriate that we should begin with the most infamous natural disaster in recent history. hurricane Katrina claimed the lives of 1,836 people and is the costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States (with property damage estimated at $84 billion).

The hurricane first touched US soil over southern Florida as a relatively modest Category 1 hurricane, where it caused some deaths and flooding. It then gained strength considerably over the Gulf of Mexico and by the time it hit southeast Louisiana on August 29th it was a Category 3 hurricane.

Although hurricane Katrina caused loss of life and property damage from central Florida all the way across to Texas, the city of New Orleans in Louisiana was worst affected as it suffered a catastrophic failure of its levee system. The rescue effort would be ongoing for many weeks and the effects are still felt in the region, eight years later.

4. The Great October Storm (1893)

Cheniere CaminadaAlthough hurricane Katrina is still fresh in our minds as the most well-known natural disaster to hit the State, Louisiana has endured a catalogue of devastating storms throughout the history of its occupation. One such storm was the Chenière Caminada hurricane, also known as the Great October Storm.

This hurricane hit the island of Chenière Caminada, Louisiana in October 1893 and effectively wiped the community off the map. The Category 4 hurricane caused an estimated 2,000 deaths and resulted in widespread property and crop damage.

There was in fact just one building left standing on the entire island; a testament to nature’s true power over humankind.

3. Okeechobee Hurricane (1928)

OkeechobeeAs of 2010, this hurricane was the only recorded cyclone to hit Puerto Rico at Category 5 strength. It would leave a path of devastation and take over 1,500 lives during its journey through the Caribbean and Bahamas before hitting the US mainland over South Florida.

However, the worst was to come. A storm surge from Lake Okeechobee breached the protective dike surrounding the water mass and flooded an area of South Florida spanning hundreds of square miles. When the disaster was over, the hurricane had claimed over 4,000 people and caused property damage estimated at $1.34 billion in 2013 USD.

2. The San Francisco Earthquake (1906)

San Francisco

Although hurricanes are the most deadly type of natural disasters (not including heat waves), one of the costliest in terms of loss of life and property damage was in fact an earthquake. And although the San Francisco earthquake occurred more than a century ago, it is an event that all Californians (and most Americans) are all too familiar with.

The earthquake struck at 5:12am on Wednesday, April 18th. The result was catastrophic — an estimated 3,000 deaths and property damage that left 80% of San Francisco destroyed. The death toll was as a result of the earthquake itself and devastating fires that broke out across the city and raged for days.

At the time of the disaster, San Francisco was the 9th-largest city in the United States, with a population approaching 500,000. Though the city would be rebuilt quickly, its destruction diverted trade, industry and the human population south to Los Angeles, essentially permanently reshaping the development of the West Coast of the United States.

1. Galveston Hurricane (1900)

GalvestonGalveston is a small island off the south coast of Texas; laid bare to the raw might of any storm that gathers in the Gulf of Mexico. Its precarious positioning was exposed by what is the deadliest hurricane and natural disaster in recorded US history.

The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 would cause an estimated 6,000-12,000 deaths as it smashed into the island as a Category 4 hurricane. Although there was some warning of the storm’s approach, there was disagreement amongst meteorologists as to where the hurricane would head, and local residents of Galveston heeded warnings to evacuate.

At the time of the disaster the highest point in the city of Galveston was less than nine feet above sea level. The hurricane created a storm surge in excess of 15 feet which blanketed the entire island. Over 3,600 homes were destroyed and only buildings with the stoutest of construction remained erect.

Today, Galveston is a thriving city with a major cruise port and two universities. An enormous 10 mile seawall acts as a barrier against future storms.

What Disaster Might Be Next?

You will no doubt notice that four of the five disasters above occurred in the late 19th and early 20th century. However, hurricane Katrina is a stark reminder of humankind’s fragility against Mother Nature, even in the modern world.

There will always be natural disasters and local communities will always need help and aid in order to save lives and restore normalcy. That is why we consider our Disaster Relief and Aid fund to be so critical in a time where lives can still be devastated by acts of God.

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Hurricane Sandy 5 months later

March 28th, 2013 by Brian Maiorana

good charity ny visit

Good Charity, Inc. helps Hurricane Sandy victims 5 months later

We recently took a trip to visit some of the people affected by who applied for assistance through Good Charity, Inc’s Financial Assistance Program.  It was a short trip but we packed in as much as we could within a short period of time.

The goal of the visit was to connect with people who came to Good Charity for assistance so that we could better learn about their experiences, struggles and hear their messages of hope.

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath

What we found we weren’t ready for.  The two day journey took us across parts of Long Island and Queens New York to visit families affected by Hurricane Sandy.  For weeks, Americans saw the damage on TV and heard about the devastation on the news.  Five months later, however, when the media coverage has come and gone we still found people displaced from their homes, conditions that have not yet improved much and ordinary people continuing their battle to regain normalcy.

Our experiences differed from family to family.  Each had their own unique story of where they were or what they were doing when the storm hit.  Some had experienced damaging storms in the past but no one we met ever encountered anything like Sandy before.  As we walked through people’s homes we were shown water lines five feet in the air where the flood waters reached.  Furnishings, appliances and life memories were washed away in an instance.  Irreplaceable items vanished as the hurricane ravished communities.  People were stranded and communities came together to harness their resources.  Stories of long gas lines and endless issues getting simple items like water and food were the status quo.

good charity ny visit2The devastation was immense but in the end what inspired us the most was an undeniable bond of family.  Possessions come and go but the spirit we witnessed in each of the families we spoke to assured us that hope continues.  No one wants to lose the things they’ve worked for but the families we met showed us that as long as we have our loved ones, everything else can be rebuilt.  We were moved by the courage and strength these families displayed and we were happy that in some small way, we could help.

Disaster Relief and Aid Fund Thanks our Donors

What was evident is that the struggle continues for many families.  We saw only a glimpse of the impact the storm left behind.  Media coverage for Hurricane Sandy has come and gone but we would like to leave everyone with the thought that there are thousands of people still struggling to live normal lives.  Thank you to all of the supporters of the Disaster Relief and Aid Fund.  Let’s not forget that continued support is needed so that we can lend a helping hand to those still in need.  Thank you to all of our supporters and a special thank you to all the families who graciously invited us into their homes.  We will not forget you.

-Brian Maiorana

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Disaster Relief is, by definition,  re-active. Governments, citizens, charities, etc., respond after the event and help to ameliorate suffering and begin the rebuilding process. But Disaster Aid and Relief Fund likes to be pro-active, so in 2012 we began to financially support an organization that not only gives aid to victims of natural disaster, but works to design and build living spaces and communities that are less susceptible to disasters, whether natural or man-made. 

Good Charity Inc supports Disaster Relief with Architects for Humanity

“Architecture for Humanity” has built structures that house over 2 million people since it was formed in 1999.• From Haiti to South Africa to Biloxi, Mississipi, the organization’s developments include such diverse projects as temporary housing for war refugees to schools and “hardening” existing communities against the kind of extreme weather and geologic events (earthquakes) that poorly-resourced communities are so susceptible to.  Their mission statement includes:

  • Alleviating poverty and providing access to water, sanitation, power and essential services
  • • Bringing safe shelter to communities prone to disaster and displaced populations
  • • Rebuilding community and creating neutral spaces for dialogue in post-conflict areas

From conception to completion, “Architecture for Humanity” manages all aspects of the design and construction process; they work with a wide range of partners, including community groups, aid organizations, housing developers, government agencies, corporate divisions, and foundations.

Disaster Aid and Relief Fund is proud to contribute to the work of “Architecture for Humanity”.

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Natural disasters are, by definition, unexpected. What can be expected though, is that when disaster strikes, Americans always come together to help those in distress. Hurricane Sandy killed at least 125 people in the U.S. and caused an estimated 62 billion dollars in damage. In its wake many charities were set up to collect and distribute relief funds and other forms of aid to victims; Good Charity, Inc. and director Brian Maiorana decided to financially support the most efficient and effective of these charities. One of them is the Empire State Relief Fund.

The Empire State Fund’s mission statement  is  to bridge the gap between the amount covered by FEMA and insurance companies, and the amount that Hurricane Sandy’s victims truly need to restore their civility and their livelihood.

The star power that the Empire State Fund was able to assemble for their signature public service announcement was amazing, and, frankly, is what caught the attention of the Disaster Relief and Aid Fund.  When we investigated further, we found that the Empire State Relief Fund focuses on long-term residential housing assistance to help fill the funding gap between Federal aid dollars/ insurance claims and the actual cost of storm damages, which can often be substantial in areas like New York and New Jersey that have not experienced weather events on the scale of Hurricane Sandy in many, many decades.

Good Charity Inc, donates to Hurricane Sandy victims

The Disaster Relief and Aid Fund is proud to financially support the residents of New York as they rebuild their homes and lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

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Hurricane Isaac Relief

September 4th, 2012 by Brian Maiorana

Good Charity Inc, is happy to have been able to provide funding for relief efforts in response to Hurricane Isaac. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected. Thanks to all of our Disaster Relief and Aid Fund supporters!

hurricane-isaac-7

 

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